Friends of Hagerman representatives met with Friends from around US FWS Region 2 - including Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas - for a whirlwind session of talks, idea sharing and fellowship this weekend, on South Padre. It was inspiring to hear story after story of efforts to acquire and preserve habitat, to educate folks about the importance of the environment, and to make it possible for the public to enjoy nature at the various Refuges represented.
One highlight of our visit was a trip to Laguna Atascosa NWR, just outside Port Isabel, Texas, home to the endangered ocelot. No, we did not see one! Just the “Ocelot Crossing” sign pictured here. But we did see the Green Jay and the Caracara, and a thriving butterfly garden. We also learned a lesson about shooting photos from an air-conditioned car in the high humidity of the coast! Don’t! After missing a great photo-op of a pair of White Ibis because the camera lens clouded up as soon as we stuck it out the window, we traveled the remainder of the Wildlife Loop sans air conditioning.
Vacation time for families with children is right around the corner, and right here in Texas we have 21 National Wildlife Refuges, with nearly all open at least in part, to the public - a great opportunity to let the youngsters Go Wild! For more information about Region 2 see http://www.fws.gov/southwest/.
And right in the backyard of North Texan, be sure to check out Hagerman NWR, open dawn to dusk, seven days a week, with no charge for admission. Refuge information is available at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/hagerman/index.html and information about programs and activities at the Refuge can be found at http://www.friendsofhagerman.com.
(Photo by Dick Malnory)